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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Persecution?

EDITORIAL — Persecution?
The Philippine Star 10/18/2006

In a country where every executive action is given political color, the administration needs to work doubly hard to avoid being accused of political persecution when imposing disciplinary action.

In the case of Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, the administration appears to be begging for a formal indictment for harassment. Binay, his vice mayor and all the councilors of Makati were suspended yesterday for 60 days in connection with a complaint filed by the city’s former vice mayor Roberto Brillante with the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Brillante accused the city officials of collecting P113.1 million for the salaries of 1,235 ghost employees from Jan. 1, 2005 until June 30 this year. Brillante also filed a graft complaint against Binay with the Office of the Ombudsman, accusing the mayor of overpricing furniture to refurbish City Hall.

This case awaits resolution and is likely to take longer than the one resolved by the DILG within just two months from the filing of the complaint. The speed was unusual in a land notorious for snail-paced administration of justice. The DILG ruling was widely expected and even the timing was anticipated in the wake of the six-month suspension of another opposition mayor, Pasay City’s Wenceslao Trinidad, for graft by the Ombudsman.

No politician is lily-white in this country, and it is not improbable that the two mayors are liable for corruption. But because of events in the past months, their complaints about political persecution also cannot be easily dismissed. There is one way for the administration to show that the two suspension orders are simply part of a no-nonsense campaign to stamp out graft: by resolving similar complaints against pro-administration politicians with the same speed and serving suspension orders with the same decisiveness. The speed of resolving graft cases, applied equally, would be refreshing in a country where every anti-corruption campaign has never gone beyond political rhetoric. Justice, when applied blindly, leaves no room for accusations of persecution.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jasmin said...

whoah, whatta match.. was bloghoppin for other sites with graft and corruption topics and interestingly found urs...with the tiny dots, circles, round colorful ball all around. hehe

2:46 PM  

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